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Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans Hardcover – 1984

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (T); 1st Edition edition (1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394530284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394530284
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,060,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brumbass on 20 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Funnily enough, I only became aware about this book through a lyric in a Kanye West song where the name "Haywood T. Kirkland" is mentioned. The name didn't resonate with me so I googled it, and this book is what came up. Later did I find out that Haywood T. Kirkland is one of the interviewed in this fascinating depiction of the experiences of black soldiers in the Vietnam War, and what effects that had on their lives afterwards.

The cross-section of interviewees that Terry selects is impeccable, ranging from the animalistic, daredevil-type soldiers to the isolated, loner ones. It ranges from the mischief-makers to the highly decorated. From those who were lucky, to those who spent years tortured as Prisoners of War. The difference between this and so many books on war is that this is told in the raw words of the people who experienced. These aren't scripted letters. These are the transcripts of the soldiers as they describe their experiences as they are remembering them. You can sense how the chilling nature of some of their experiences are impacting on them just through the words they choose and how they deliver it.

This raw depiction of their experiences can be truly heartbreaking, and the structure of the book as each experience contrasts another creates so an incredible mix of emotions. The soldiers provide such detailed imagery of unimaginable circumstances, and you can't help but wonder if you would manage in such arduous conditions. But it seems that the real pain came when they returned home and were almost rejected by society because of the war. Even the ones who fill me with such hate and disgust for cutting off fingers and ears suddenly come across as human, and their actions understandable. To gain a true perspective on attitudes in war, you have to read this book. The fact that it's about black soldiers is irrelevant when you can see that black people are no different than the next person.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent testimony from brave, articulate fighting men 10 Jun. 1999
By Stephen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have bought this book twice and through cross country moves I have unfortunately lost both copies. It is a true tradegy to me that it is out of print. It is a sterling example of bravery, discrimination, and heart in a "tell it like it is" format. It should be required reading.
Five Stars 8 Feb. 2015
By David Pascucci - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Essential reading for those interesting in learning more about the Vietnam war.
Five Stars 14 Mar. 2015
By Donald Allen - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading Bloods
Five Stars 8 April 2015
By Gary m Pike - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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